A new campaign is urging over-40s who have developed a new or persistent cough, but tested negative for Covid-19, to contact their GP.
Statistics show there are around 25% fewer lung cancers being diagnosed now, compared to pre-coronavirus.
A new campaign, Detect Cancer Early, from Public Health Scotland, is urging those aged 40 and over to not put off contacting their GP if they have any possible cancer symptoms.
Lung cancer is the most common cancer in Scotland, with around 5,000 people diagnosed each year.
Ruthra Coventry, from Aberdeen, considered herself to be a fit and healthy mother of one when she was diagnosed with stage one lung cancer in October 2018.
Initially putting her persistent cough and recurring chest infections down to her two-year-old bringing home bugs from nursery, the anesthetist contacted her GP practice when she noticed she had coughed up blood.
Ms Coventry said: “My tumour was found early and I feel lucky that it was diagnosed at a stage where it was localised, and able to be removed with surgery, without the need for chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
“Based on what happened to me, my message to anyone would be to get checked. I know it’s easy to put off, but it can make all the difference to being diagnosed at a stage where it’s able to be treated.
“After I’d spoken to my GP about being referred for scans, I started to feel a bit better and I almost cancelled my appointment, which doesn’t bear thinking about now. Don’t put it off because it could save your life.”
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Diagnosing and treating cancer has been and will remain a key priority throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Early detection is key and we’re encouraging people, especially those aged over 40, to contact their GP practice if they’ve tested negative for Covid-19, but have a persistent new or different cough that’s lasted three weeks or more.
“I want to reassure people that whilst the NHS is working differently, and they may not be able to see their GP in person, their practice is there to help them access key tests and support them through the process.
“Please don’t delay seeking help as the earlier lung cancer is found the better and a lot can be done to treat it.”
For more information, visit getcheckedearly.org.